Who ya gonna call?
If your marriage is falling apart oftentimes the best advice that a friend or
acquaintance will give you is to hire the meanest, toughest lawyer you can
find. And the truth be known, they are right about this. If you want to win
the battle, that is the best way to do so. But if you win, that means the
other side loses, and the other side includes not only your spouse, but your
children as well. Research has shown that the legal adversarial process is one
of the most damaging elements of divorce for the children.
You could hire a more "sensitive" lawyer, but the unless your adversary also
finds a sensitive "mouthpiece," the chances are that you will lose. And legal
ethics actually proscribe a lawyer from representing the interests of anyone
but their own client. The children's interests are going to differ from yours,
because they need both parents.
try mediation services, but all too often the focus of the mediator is to reach
an agreement, with little concern over whether the agreement is really fair to
all parties. The problem with mediation is that all too often the party that
is the most unreasonable ends up getting what they want, and the party most
willing to compromise, ends up being a doormat once again. Or, if there are
lawyers in the background, the advice they give may be to not agree so things
can proceed more in their domain, where it is more likely they can win for
their client so the others lose.
That is where NMDEP comes in. We are designing a program where the only lawyer
involved represents the children. The parents, if they cannot come to a
agreement that is fair to everyone, agree to binding arbitration, adjudicated
by the children's representative. In this way, if anyone "wins" anything in
the divorce, it will be the children, who in most past cases have been the ones
the most in that process.